Tidal river rafting

I am pretty new to rafting though I have done some tidal river canoeing. What I am looking for as far as information goes is anything along the lines of do and dont do and what to watch out for. I"ll describe what is involved in this tidal river stuff and hopefully you all will have some insights I should be aware of.
Ok , the said river is called the Shubenacadie and is located attached to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. The bay itself gets some pretty high tides with 80 feet being mentioned frequently in various local publications. The full moon and new moon tides produce a tidal bore about 3 feet high that sweeps in over huge mud flats. {any ideas as to what could be done with that bore are welcome} There is some water in the bay at low tide and a bit of water precedes the bore by a few minutes. Some neap tides bring in a bore said to be under 10 feet but the few I saw were in December while I was hunting ducks and I was back on shore by the time it rolled by so I cant vouch for its height.
Getting back to the Shubie River , as I recall the mouth of the river starts out at about a mile across and then it quickly narrows down to a couple hundred yards for a few miles then tapers off to a normal river about 50 yards wide. As the tide comes into the mouth of the river it doesnt produce a bore in the classic sense, mostly it just fills the place up real fast and produces a strong current. The trick with a canoe is to stay with this flood of water as it goes by the waiting place into the rapidly narrowing river . As this flood of water goes around bends in the river huge waves appear for a couple of minutes … They are probably 8 feet high and look like they are going in the opposite direction of the incoming tide . I guess they would be called rollers. 2 guys can paddle fast enough to keep up with the current. The fun of it all is if you give it all youve got the waves will pass right under you and the whole front half of the canoe is momentarily air borne , then you crash down into the hollow preceding the next wave . At some bends of the river you get haystacks that can drop into your canoe and swamp you, but since all this water has just passed over 20 miles of sun warmed mud flats its about 85 degrees and you can stand in the current without to much effort. There is only one whirlpool about 15 feet across that disappears after a couple minutes. It is also possible to get ahead of the current and end up getting beached for a few minutes until the tide catches up and starts producing waves. Some people take zodiacs out and run the bends multiple times as long as the waves are still forming.
Thats about it. As long as you dont have a head wind things are exciting for about a half hour or so. Then it a nice leisurly paddle to the next haul out at a bridge crossing. One possibility would be using a small trolling motor to speed things up with my Dory… Has anyone ever heard of such a feat? Any comments would be appreciated .

Cliff, you may want to try asking about the Shubie on the local paddler’s group, PaddleNovaScotia :


I know some of them have paddled it in various forms of kayaks and maybe canoes.

I can tell you this much:

  1. Wear disposible Frenchy’s clothing (you will never be able to wash that fine mud/silt out);
  2. I’ve heard it may be nigh-impossible to dismount your boat (due to the Steep Slippery Gooey Mukky mud banks) in places and if not at High tide;
  3. Check out some of the motorized-zodiac ‘outfitters’ Websites for water/tide predictions.
  4. It’s quite educational to watch the event from the hwy #236 bridge in South Maitland. I once watched a Good Bore go by and the mayhem that followed it for about an hour from this bridge.